Dwantrina Russell spoke to Crosby-Huffman Chamber members Jan. 16 about the 2020 Census and the need for more help to make it happen. Photo by Patsy Oliver

The United States Census 2020 count began last Tuesday for residents of Alaska – the remainder of the states and territories will begin responding in about two months.

Dwantrina Russell and her team from U.S. Census 2020 were eager to get the word out at the Crosby-Huffman Chamber Luncheon Jan. 16.

“The 2020 Census is very important to the communities,” said Russell, noting that funding for schools, hospitals, first responders, infrastructure and much more is determined largely by the size of the populations they serve.

Russell said that the census is hiring numerous temporary employees at pay starting at $22 per hour. The positions range from those who will go out and get information from residents who had not yet responded, to management positions. Those interested in applying must be at least 18 years of age and must submit to fingerprinting and a background check.

Russell said that workers will be assigned to the ZIP codes in which they live. She added that those with “challenging backgrounds” would not automatically be excluded from hire and that each person would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Russell also asked business owners to help by allowing materials to be placed in their businesses and/or allowing census workers to come to their workplaces to provide information and answer questions. She said that the need for meeting space that would accommodate 25 or more people was also needed for local training purposes. That, she said, was solely voluntary and would not be compensated.

All homes will receive an invitation to respond to the census by mail beginning in mid-March. Residents can respond online, by phone or by mail.

April 1 is Census Day. When completing the questionnaire for their household, those reporting should include everyone living in their home on that day.

For more information, visit 2020census.gov. Information can be found there regarding any special circumstances such as a baby born on April 1, those moving on that date, military personnel, the homeless and more.

To apply for a census job, visit 2020census.gov/jobs.

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